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National Innovations in CWS Funding: What’s Working?. Michael Lawler Co-Director, Center for Public Policy Research and Director, The Center for Human Services UC Davis Extension University of California, Davis. Study Methodology. Internet document review

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National Innovations in CWS Funding: What’s Working?

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National innovations in cws funding what s working

National Innovations in CWS Funding: What’s Working?

Michael Lawler

Co-Director, Center for Public Policy Research and

Director, The Center for Human Services

UC Davis Extension

University of California, Davis


Study methodology

Study Methodology

  • Internet document review

  • Telephone interviews with state and local agencies

  • Interviews with national experts

  • Data gathered Sep-Nov 2006


National innovations in cws funding what s working

Child Welfare Budget Methodologies in Selected States


Texas

Texas

  • Reorganized and consolidated a number of human services

  • Using private contracts and new public programs to address CFSR

  • Basic CWS budget formation similar to California

  • Sixth highest child poverty rate in the US (23%)


New york

New York

  • Changes driven by consent decrees (Marisol cases)

  • Reduced caseloads, increased training, configured services by neighborhoods

  • Focus on prevention

  • 3 major CWS funding components: uncapped services reimbursement, foster care block grant, quality enhancement

  • Outcomes: Decrease in foster care, increase in adoptions

  • Moving toward incentive based funding in NYC


Illinois

Illinois

  • Major reductions in caseloads due to consent decrees and CFSR

  • Home of Relative Reform legislation to help pay for kin care rather than creating dependants

  • Focus on caseload reductions with some private contracts

  • Caseload standards: 15:1 for placement, 12:1 for investigations

  • Reduced number of foster children from 52,000 to 18,000 while steadily increasing CWS budget


Minnesota

Minnesota

  • Strong reputation for innovation

  • Focusing on comprehensive assessment program to prevent maltreatment and placement

  • Sophisticated monitoring system similar to California

  • CFSR outcomes among the best


Florida

Florida

  • Using private agencies to provide much of CWS

  • Low salaries and high caseloads leading to high turnover of CWS staff (30%)

  • Funding for state’s data reporting system has been suspended


California strengths

California strengths

  • Excellent quarterly monitoring system (CWS/CMS and UCB)

  • Relatively stable and educated workforce

  • 2030 standards for workloads

  • Hold harmless approach


Summary of fiscal models

Summary of Fiscal Models

  • Wide variation across states

  • Changes driven by CFSRs

  • Not all states have county input

  • Some rely on competitive bidding

  • "Hold harmless" approach unique to California

  • Some states (e.g., New York) moving to incentives and outcome based budgeting


Bottom line

Bottom line

  • All states want flexible funding to reward and support improved outcomes

  • Most states still use a caseload driven formula for budgeting

  • Jury is still out on private contracting and performance based budgeting


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